Coventry & Warwickshire

Villagers campaign to secure future of Warwickshire pub

Action group outside the pub Image copyright Paul Jennings
Image caption The pub has been recognised as an "asset of community value" by Loxley Parish Council

Residents are joining forces to secure the future of their only village pub.

People living in Loxley, Warwickshire, are being urged to buy "community shares" and become co-owners of The Fox Inn, which has been put on the market.

The pub has been listed as an "asset of community value" by the parish council, giving community groups the option to take it over.

Residents, who say the site is the village's main community hub, have so far gathered £76,000 in pledges.

Brewery Ei Group has put the pub up for sale with a £345,000 asking price for the freehold.

The Fox Inn Loxley Action Group said it has until the end of August - when others can also make a bid - to raise enough money to buy the property.

It hopes to secure the money through the community shares and grant funding.

"It's an important part of the community, the place you go to talk to your neighbours and really is the heart of the village," said group chairman Paul Jennings.

If successful, the pub will be run by volunteers, become a cafe during the day and provide space for meetings and community events.

Image copyright Warwickshire County Record Office
Image caption Plans include running the pub as a cafe and space for community events

Loxley Parish Council chairman Glynn Jones said: "We listed it as an asset of community value a few years ago, which recognises its extraordinary importance to a small village, not just as a public house, but as the only community meeting space within the parish.

"The parish council remain in close contact [with the action group] and remain supportive of those efforts, including [us] funding some of the initial feasibility work."

A spokesperson from Ei Publican Partnerships said: "As part of our on-going business, we do from time to time identify a pub that may no longer have a long-term future in our estate. We are aware of the community group's interest in buying the pub, as well as being in discussions with other interested parties."

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